This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Cisco Live 2023 conference coverage and analysis

Cisco Viptela SD-WAN integrates with SASE for better security

Cisco Viptela SD-WAN integration with Cisco+ Secure Connect brings cloud-based security to remote workers and easier collaboration between IT security and networking teams.

Cisco's recent software-defined WAN upgrade aspires to bring Viptela, its SD-WAN product for large enterprises with complex networking requirements, closer to the full SASE experience, highlighting a trend toward SASE as the future of SD-WAN.

The upgrade features integration between Viptela SD-WAN and Cisco's unified SASE product, Cisco+ Secure Connect. This integration gives Viptela customers access to SASE cloud-based network security tools, which have many benefits for protecting enterprise data in the remote work environment.

SASE decreases security inspection latency by eliminating the need for data to pass through inspection engines in the faraway data center. Instead, it moves inspection engines to a close point-of-presence. SASE also simplifies security by connecting multiple threat detection tools into a single fabric.

Gartner analyst Andrew Lerner called 2023 "the year of SASE." Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50% of SD-WAN purchases will be part of a single-vendor SASE offering, up from less than 10% in 2021.

Cisco's integration between its SD-WAN and SASE bolsters Cisco+ Secure Connect as a SASE product that offers an SD-WAN that gives remote workers cloud-delivered security.

Over the last couple of years, numerous security vendors have bought SD-WAN businesses to create similar offerings, said Shamus McGillicuddy, a vice president of research at Enterprise Management Associates.

"For most of them, integration of SD-WAN with cloud-based security solutions is still a work in progress," he said. "I've heard anecdotally that large enterprises struggle to evolve from SD-WAN to SASE, so strong integration between something like Viptela and Cisco's cloud security solutions is essential."

McGillicuddy's upcoming research shows that more than 30% of IT organizations consider it challenging to go from an SD-WAN to a fully integrated SASE solution.

For IT personnel, Cisco's Viptela SD-WAN and SASE integration will ease collaboration between enterprise security and networking teams, McGillicuddy said.

Cisco recently integrated the CG113, a remote work device enabling enterprise Wi-Fi access without a VPN, with SD-WAN Remote Access, which brings the quality of office Wi-Fi to the home office. The CG113 also has a 4G/LTE radio that can serve as a failover option in case the ISP goes down, according to McGillicuddy.

"My research has shown strong interest in SD-WAN solutions that can cover home-office scenarios," he said. "This would be really helpful for companies with lots of customer-facing employees who need reliable connections, doctors doing telepresence, and call center agents interfacing with customers."

Other recent SD-WAN upgrades include changes in vManage, Viptela's overlay network management console. There is also a new model in the Catalyst 8500 modular networking device series, the Catalyst 8500-20X6C, and increased vertical scaling to the Catalyst 8000V edge software.

Both integrations are available now. Cisco plans to make the rest of the upgrades generally available by April.

Mary Reines joined TechTarget Editorial in October 2022 as a news writer covering networking. Prior to TechTarget, Reines worked for five years as arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter, her hometown newspaper.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture
SASE architecture converges network and security services into a cloud-based platform, centering on the identity of users, devices and applications.

Next Steps

Cloud-native and observability takeaways from Cisco Live

Dig Deeper on SD-WAN

Unified Communications
Mobile Computing
Data Center